Dear Inner Circle,

As the finish line looms closer, I’m noticing things that I’ve always seen. A tall, skinny bloke in his thirties, made a direct and quick approach this morning as I walked into Wayside. His hand was stretched out from about four metres away. As he came closer I noticed he wasn’t smiling, so this wasn’t a “farewell” or “well done” but something more serious. In one of this world’s longest hand-shakes, he told me that yesterday a mate had told him of a free feed that was on offer in another part of the city. He described a generous meal that was set before him, “But”, and here came the weighty part of his news, “They began preaching at us.” Still in the one hand-shake he told me that he was humiliated. “Why couldn’t this Christian just make a gift? Why did they have to preach at us?” The final part of the speech was, “I’ve come to Wayside for years and I’ve been helped, I’ve showered and I’ve eaten here many times and no-one has ever preached at me. I just want to thank you!”

I’m noticing that tiny comments are sometimes acts of love. This morning I carried a coffee that I’d bought in the street and a Wayside regular said as I walked past, “There is an ingredient in that stuff called, ‘productivity’”. It made me remember that years ago this same fellow was part of a crowd that witnessed us giving some of our Wayside honey to a Premier of NSW. As the Premier graciously accepted the jar of honey, this fellow yelled out, “Be careful, there is truth serum in it!”
One of our staff members, who has a fairly unromantic role on our team, is about the happiest bloke I’ve ever met. Anyone would employ this bloke just to walk around a building and be himself. He lifts people. He’s contagious. He sometimes has to deal with people who think it is their duty to be annoyed when any tiny thing goes wrong and they talk to him like he caused the problem. He takes it all in his stride and lately I’m noticing how priceless is the gift he makes to our team and to the world. I’m also noticing how another staff member greets me like I’m a long lost family member; not only me but everyone she meets. Can you imagine what this gift means to people who’ve burned all their bridges? Not many of our staff are naturally quiet people, although we have a few. I noticed one today, she’s so softly spoken that I’m ashamed to say that unless we meet in a quiet place, I would not hear her speak. I don’t need a good sense of hearing however, to know that her work is real, effective and pure gold. My spirit soars when I notice what I see every day.

One of our most lovable and famous Kings Cross characters is a woman named Rosie. It was chilly this morning and I happened to meet her at the fountain. We walked with our arm around each other all the way down Macleay Street to a café where I bought her a cup of tea. We then walked with our arm around each other back up to Wayside. If you ever want to know what it feels like to be a celebrity, I recommend you walk down the street with your arm around this beautiful woman.

This isn’t a farewell note, it’s just that I can see the finish line and it causes me to notice not just the large achievements of the past but the little, and to remember that the awesome normally comes in the little.

Thanks for being part of our inner circle,

Graham

Graham

Rev Graham Long
Pastor & CEO
Wayside Chapel

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